Report: Utah elected more women in 2023 but still lags U.S. average

Feb 19, 2024, 5:00 PM

Celeste Maloy, then-candidate for Utah's 2nd Congressional District, at a campaign event in 2023. N...

FILE: Celeste Maloy, then-candidate Utah's 2nd Congressional District, at a campaign event in 2023. New research shows that Utah elected more women in the last year, but the state lags national average. (Nick Adams, Deseret News)

(Nick Adams, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — New research shows that Utah has elected more women in the last year. 

Susan Madsen, who is the founding director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project, says more women — especially Republican women — are now in the Utah Legislature. In previous years, more Democrat women served in these positions.

“We’re still lagging the national average, which is about 30%,” Madsen said.

Last year Utah ranked 40th in the nation. But this year the USU research shows the state ranks 39th.

These numbers come from new research published by the Utah Women and Leadership Project at Utah State University.

“(Women actually hold) 28 seats of women in our state Legislature, with 15 being Republican and 13 being Democrat. So that’s a real switch there,” Madsen said.

According to the report, women hold more than 45% of the 11 leadership positions in the Utah House.

On the other side of the aisle, nearly 36% of the 14 Senate leadership positions are held by women.

Rep. Celeste Maloy, R-Utah, is now the fifth woman to represent Utah in the U.S. House. She is the fifth female in the history of Utah’s congressional delegation

The new report notes that Utah has never elected a woman to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Madsen added it’s important to talk about these numbers, so Utah doesn’t revert to fewer women in elected positions.

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Report: Utah elected more women in 2023 but still lags U.S. average